Frank Seravelli of Daily Faceoff is reporting that on Monday, the NHL provided formal notice to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) that they have suspended operation of their Memorandum of Understanding, thus officially severing communications between the two leagues as a result of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
In a memo distributed to GMs on Monday, obtained by Daily Faceoff, the NHL instructed its teams to “immediately cease all dealings [direct or indirect] with the KHL and KHL Clubs [and all representatives of both], as well as with player agents who are based in and continue to do business in Russia.”
That will have an impact on the ability of NHL teams to quickly and efficiently sign KHL free agents. But teams remain permitted to do so, so long as they are free and clear of contractual obligations.
Bogdan Trineyev, selected by the Capitals in the fourth round (#117 overall) is the only current Capitals prospect playing in Russia, but remains unsigned and is still under contract with the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow club. It is believed that Trineyev’s current KHL contract will expire this summer.
Trineyev has spent time between Dynamo’s Junior team (20 games) and the KHL team (11 games) so far this season. The 6’-3” right winger, who hails from Voronezh, Russia, turned 20 on March 4. More on Trineyev and his season here.
The NHL notified the KHL that it “will continue to respect existing and future KHL contracts,” though it will no longer have the ability to verify contractual status directly.
“We will have only limited contractual information regarding players who are currently or last played in the KHL,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in the memo.
According to Seravelli, in order for an NHL team to sign a player from the KHL, the interested NHL team must inquire with Central Registry to inquire if the last information available from the KHL demonstrates that the player is on an expiring KHL contract, and teams must produce “independent written evidence demonstrating that the player is entirely free of any and all potentially conflicting contractual obligations in the KHL for 2022-23 and beyond.”
By Jon Sorensen